First Run of Cornish Cross Meat Birds and Super Excited!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by JessicaThistle, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. JessicaThistle

    JessicaThistle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Haha Ralph! I often have chickens share nests. At my egg farm, the girls all love to squeeze into the nest together. I literally had 6 hens pressing so hard on top of each other in the corner of the nest that one hen stuck her head out the back of the nest where the eggs roll. She was looking at me like...help me!! I was sure she was As fast as I grabbed those hens and moved them out of there, more would push in on top of her. I wasn't tough enough apparently. I had to get hubby to move out those girls. He apparently has a way with the ladies because he was pulling girls out of there faster than I could blink. The stuck hen survived the craziness.

    Get well Linda. I'm thinking of you even if I haven't been here to say so!

    I delivered some eggs to one of my commercial customers today. I had 41 dozen to give him. He looked at me and said, that's not enough! That was literally all I had. He was the only one that I delivered to. He said he needs at least 60 dozen. Man!! I either need more chickens or more people willing to sell me their eggs. The girls have the lights on.

    This is a stressful business!
     
  2. mountain mom

    mountain mom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ralph- I too dislike a frozen egg. Such a waste. Same with stepped on or cracked eggs. I usually feed them back to the girls though. At least it is not a total waste.
    I would discourage feeding the frozen, covered in woodchips and poo, egg to your wife...

    For a couple of days I had a notion that Pearl was laying because there were eggs in odd places. Turns out, the girls have been fighting for one nest box. I was watching them day before last, and discovered the shenanigans. There are 3 boxes, 8 hens. Plenty of room for everyone. But one box is the favorite. And it is a different box than last fall.
    And the main nest box bully? A hen that is not currently laying. Just wants to hog the box because she can.

    I am keeping my eye out for some Cream Legbars that are not going to make me take out a loan to purchase. I REALLY want some. I also really want some Russian Orloff chickens. They are great winter layers.... and with my plans to sell eggs to the little coffee shop for their baked goods, I will need more than one egg a day in the cold months.

    Jessica- MORE CHICKENS!! Isn't that always the answer?
    Maybe you can keep some of the older gals in the production line a bit longer than you were thinking while the new girls are coming in. Slowly increase the number of hens you are keeping...what happens to the older hens when you take them out? A life of luxury wandering around the Jessica Farm? Or the axe?

    Time to go force the girls outside. It snowed yesterday, so they refused to leave the coop. Today is sunny, they are getting the boot!
     
  3. mountain mom

    mountain mom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That was eventful. They really didn't want to go outside.
    I got them all lifted out of the coop and on the ground... only for them to simultaneously bash me with their wings as they all tried to clamber back into the door (the human access off the ground). I would not be surprised if I end up with bruises everywhere.
     
  4. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

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    Kinky?
     
  5. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

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    I had to throw mine out yesterday, today they ran out. It makes no sense, chicken Logic.
     
  6. LindaB220

    LindaB220 Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Thanks Honey, I've been thinking of all your craziness. Hope you are having fun. It's all a learning process and any new job will get easier. Even the chicken business. I have my coop with 5 girls set up with one 24:" x 30" community nest box. Take out some of the separators and see if that helps. My handyman George came yesterday and finished the 2nd coop. Hardware cloth around 3' tall and bags of soil to do a water break when it rains a lot. He put up the other side of the coop that had netting on it with clear shower curtains. It looks decent. I can't worry about tin for a few months. A nice little area 12' x 12' all ready for my layers when I get them. But for right now I have 2 three mo old black rocks in there. Pullets. Yea!. I'm hoping I won't have too much trouble integrating the 4 babies that will be coming out of the brooder soon. And we'll see how the Sebright eggs coming today will work. Only 8 of them. George also put a tin roof on the small coop 4' x 6' that I have my XW White Plymouth Rocks in for breeding. I can let them out to play for a while each day. He is breeding them so they are ready to lay. I made a 5 gallon bucket nest box for that coop. Tiny but sufficient for now. So they are set with a small roost. My 2 super blue egg layers are finally laying and the other 3 white rocks and coronation sussex are soooooo ready. I'll check in when I can
     
  7. JessicaThistle

    JessicaThistle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mountain Mom: Yes, more chickens is the answer but they take time! Unfortunately, I do not have great ages at the farm right now. The oldest are 2 1/2 yrs old. While there are still eggs coming, I am positive some are no longer laying and the plan will be for these ones to become stewing chickens. The second group is 1 1/2. They are laying a bit more than the older ones but in chicken production, they are reaching their exit time as well. So that leaves the batch of pullets that are 4 months old. Once they start laying and the eggs are larger than a quarter, we will have some ability to make changes.

    I also have 300 chicks coming in 2 weeks, so the real wait will be on.

    Unfortunately, my little farm going through 1/2 ton of feed per week will not be able to afford free loaders. [​IMG] There's a little Mexican gentleman around here that comes out to farms, picks up elder hens, processes them and sells to restaurants for soup stocks. He pays $3 each. Not alot but it adds up and saves me from having to spend hours processing more chickens. 30 birds was hard enough. I could not imagine contending with 200 of them!

    On the seriously positive side: The oldest hens have an egg eating problem. We were losing at least a dozen eggs per day to them when we took over the business. After all of the modifications my husband has done to the nests, we are down to only losing ONE egg per day! Ka-ching!

    Linda: My nesting boxes don't have separators. What we did figure out is that the were piling in the corner for a darker more private area. My sweetie put up some cardboard pieces in front of the nests that swing to give the girls some blocking of light and privacy. That solved that problem. While some like to snuggle close, they just really wanted some privacy. Can't say that i blame them.

    What a journey this is with so much learning along the way. I cannot wait until all of my girls are actually moved to my house where I can enjoy them more often. The egg room is almost done, so that is a major hurdle to be ready for chickens to arrive! So excited!
     
  8. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

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    Interesting Jessica,


    When you said you had 200 hens ready for stew, I was worried where you would get enough vodka to do all them. Can you get Vodka in 50 gallon barrels?


    Are your layers all white eggs or mixed? Any EE?


    Seems like you got a good deal and like you will turn it around, we knew you would. It is hard to believe a egg producer would go 1 1/2 years between pullets.
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    I'm guessing that's why they wanted to sell the business.
     
  10. mountain mom

    mountain mom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jessica- Sounds like your plans are all coming together! I can't believe the older hens were eating a dozen eggs a day! Just goes to show you what living conditions can do for them. You will have to post some pics of the hen house and all your new ladies joining the ranks! Like Ralph said, it is a bit weird they waited so long between ages of birds. I am sure you will be producing the volume of eggs being demanded in no time.
    And thank goodness for the guy who offers to take your old hens! That would have been a serious task that would require you to bathe in vodka... for weeks.

    On the CX topic... sort of... Pearl is squatting. Her comb and wattles are bright red. I imagine I will be getting a Pearl egg soon. I hope she just learns from the other hens and lays in the nest box.

    I am getting excited for the spring round of meaties. I am trying to time it just right so they don't have to be brooded inside and will be butchered before we go on vacation in July. I am not sure it will work out. I may have to get them when we are back.
    I think it is probably too much to ask of the neighbor kid to not only collect eggs and take care of the big gals, but to feed the meatballs fermented feed (and keep mixing up the feed) 3x a day. And take care of our other animals as well. Sigh.
     

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